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United Made It Hard For Themselves... Again

United Made It Hard For Themselves... Again

This United team is the most frustrating since... well, for a long time. For some reason we insist on missing unmissable chances, letting opponents off the hook and falling apart at the worst times.

Today's game against Bolton was a perfect example. United dominated the first 75 minutes and should have been four or five up by that time. The front four of Owen, Giggs, Berbatov and Valencia carved Bolton open time and again, especially in the second half while Carrick and Anderson shielded a defence that was reasonably solid despite the absence of Vidic and the inclusion of Gary Neville.

And everything was there for a real exhibition: the early goal (Zat Knight messed up horribly but who cares?), the relentless attacking, a dodgy Bolton defence. A brilliant counter-attack was finished expertly by Antonio Valencia after the half hour mark - the Ecuadorian netted his first United goal. At that point it seemed certain we would go back on top.

And United actually improved after the break, Giggs at his majestic best, Owen thriving on Berbatov's passes and flick-ons, Valencia creating panic with his every run. But somehow the ball just could not find its way into the net. Jaaskalainen was brilliant, as usual, we were unlucky, as it often happens in these kind of games - so Bolton remained in with a shout.

They only needed a goal out of nothing and they found that with 15 minutes remaining, Taylor heading home after a poor clearance from Gary Neville gave Bolton a chance. And United actually fell apart: we could barely get out of our own half, we were subjected to a fierce aerial bombardment and panic reigned amongst our troops.

Fortunately, Edwin van der Sar, returning from injury, stood like a rock amid the raging sea and refused to be beaten even though our once-great defence could not really cope with Bolton's height and physical strength. It's hardly worth mentioning that we could have put the game beyond doubt by finishing off one of the threatening counter-attacks - nobody can be really surprised to see United failing to take away their chances.

In the end we had to be grateful for three points out of a match we should have sealed with half an hour to go. Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov played well: their movement off the ball was excellent, their passing was precise, they were always available and made all the right decisions - but they could not put the ball into the net, no matter what.

So, once again, United completed a game from memory but it was enough to send us back to the top of the table. Last time it was only a brief stay - hopefully we'll be able to keep our position a bit longer this time around.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Saturday October 17 2009
Time: 6:04PM


That game felt like a loss to me! I am livid with the way we let them back into the game. A game we should've been cruising in, turned out to be a nailbitter all because we couldn't put the ****** third goal into the net! I would've been considerably angered had we lost two point today! Some say only the results matter and I say bull****! We can't keep playing like this at home and expect to get wins all the time! We have to step up and shape up!
17/10/2009 18:37:00
I keep telling you that this is the weakest united side in years, but you keep dissing me for it. Beginning to sink in now is it?
17/10/2009 21:46:00
Not convincing at all - at 2 up you should have gone on to add another 2/3 goals. Boy do you miss Rooney.
18/10/2009 00:59:00
We may be the weakest Utd side in a few years - but we are still at the top!
18/10/2009 21:29:00
We missed Rooney, Fletcher and Vidic but still looked in control until the latter parts of the 70th minute! The problem wasn't missing players because we had more than enough chances, the problem was taking those chances! fifth - If this is the weakest Utd and we're still top, then how poor is this league!???
18/10/2009 23:47:00
I think people are forgetting Jaaskalainen was quality. Those saves from Evans and Berbatov were world class so quite harsh to say we were poor. Games after internationals are always difficult and we dominated for the majoprity of the game. Weakest United team in the last 4 years maybe but we can beat Wigan away whereas chelski and those arab neighbours of our struggle!
19/10/2009 05:38:00
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